The 14th April is St. Tiburtius Day and is traditionally when you will hear the first cuckoo, as celebrated in Rudyard Kipling’s Cuckoo Song:

Cuckoo, bring your song here!
Warrant, Act and Summons, please,
For Spring to pass along here!


The cuckoo migrates north from Africa and the date of its arrival, although traditionally the 14th April, varies in different parts of the country.

The first sighting is often in the far South West, in the Isle of Scilly and then gradually moves northwards. In recent years the cuckoo has tended to arrive on average five days earlier than usual, likely due to climate change.

On hearing the first cuckoo in spring it is traditional to pen a letter to The Times but you can also send your reports to us here - we'd love to hear from you. Just let us know when and where you heard it.

Previous years: 2016     2015     2014     2013     2012     2011     2010   

Want to learn more about cuckoos? You may be interested in the following:

Cuckoo: Cheating By Nature
Singing Toy Cuckoo
Cuckoo Call

First Cuckoo Church Stretton 2016

Katherine Edwards-Li and her husband heard a cuckoo calling in the very lovely surroundings of Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton, Shropshire on the 28th May.
First Cuckoo Oxford 2016

Rosie Collins heard her first cuckoo of 2016 at Shotover Park, Oxford, at 10.30 am on the 8th May.
First Cuckoo Wareham Forest 2016

Diane Oliver heard a cuckoo at 07:15 on the 17th April in Wareham Forest, Dorset.
First Cuckoo Benenden 2016

Jane Everall heard a cuckoo at 8:30 am in Kirby Muxloe, Leicestershire. She also added that she has a great tit building a nest in the eaves of her house.
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